Ah, the first week of June: Roses are out, yet New Yorkers inexplicably still need to wear jackets to leave their apartments; the Tony Awards are nearly upon us; the NBA Finals are disappointingly turning into the rout we all miserably anticipated; summer, it appears, is only half-enthusiastic about making an appearance in 2018. Tough luck, summer! We’ll have dubious fun with or without you. (See: My weekend plans for a trip to the beach, on a day when no one thinks it will be warm enough to even stick a toe in the ocean.)
For your own fun — definite, not dubious — check out our top recommendations for how to spend your weekend in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, in addition to the best new books, movies and more.
Seymour Hersh is a legend of 20th and 21st-century journalism, the man who broke, among many others, the stories of the massacre in My Lai and the abuses executed by the U.S. army in Abu Ghraib. His new memoir, “Reporter,” is a must-read. Also new and worthy are Lauren Groff’s short story collection “Florida” and mystery maven Anthony Horowitz’s “The Word is Murder.”
June 6 was the 20th anniversary of the debut of “Sex and the City,” heralding a media frenzy over the ways in which the show remains hugely influential, as well as those in which it’s become distinctly dated. Celebrate the occasion by watching or re-watching the series, and for a taste of some of the most interesting commentary on it, read Vanity Fair’s oral history of the show’s writers room, The New York Times’s oral history of how Candace Bushnell’s New York Observer column became the hit HBO show and The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum’s musings on the show’s 15th anniversary, as insightful today as it was five years ago. In theaters, “Ocean’s 8” promises pure fun. And the Tony’s, which will have to work hard to overcome the limitations of a particularly boring season on Broadway, air on Sunday night.
3) New York City
Get an early start to your weekend with a conversation between novelist Meg Wolitzer and A Public Space editor Brigid Hughes at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Thursday night. Saturday night, head to the Manhattan JCC for a panel on the “Future of Israeli Cinema.” And extend your weekend on the other side with Tuesday’s Museum Mile Festival, which will see museums including the Met, the Guggenheim and the Jewish Museum granting free entry for an evening.
4) Washington D.C.
On Friday night, catch comedian Sandra Bernhard’s “Sandemonium” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Then turn your attention to theater: Both Theater J’s “Trayf” and Mosaic Theater Company’s “The Vagrant Trilogy” are worth seeing.
Spend your Sunday at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival, of which the Forward is a co-sponsor. If you’re in the mood for mandolin — and when is anyone not? — catch one of the Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital’s weekend performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. And as I’ve a soft spot for Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere,” I’ll also recommend you seek out Lifeline Theatre’s stage adaptation of the text, which, confusingly, started as a TV show, then became a novel that has been published in several different iterations. (If you can’t make the Lifeline Theatre production, you must listen to the 2013 BBC Radio audio play adaptation of the novel, which is entirely enthralling.)
6) Los Angeles
It’s an artsy weekend in Los Angeles, with three gallery openings to choose between. “Arline Fisch: Aquatic Bloom” at Craft in America, “Bruce Cohen: Studies” at Leslie Sacks Gallery and Phel Steinmetz at Michael Benevento each open on Saturday.